Virginia might be for lovers, but it is also home to multiple NFL standouts in the league right now. The 10th state admitted to the Union has a history of producing NFL talent, especially for its size and population. Nearly 50 current NFL players call Virginia home, but who are the five best right now? Here are my picks.
Top 5 NFL Players From Virginia
5: Anthony Harris (SS, Philadelphia Eagles – Chesterfield, VA)
Anthony Harris landed in Philadelphia this season after spending his first six years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings. Harris is a physical and relentless strong safety who plays downhill and attacks the ball with tenacity in pass coverage. So far, Harris has accumulated 345 tackles and 10 interceptions over seven seasons in the league, and he co-led the NFL in interceptions in 2019.
Harris is a Virginia man through and through; after playing high school football at Chesterfield’s Lloyd C. Bird High School, where he dominated at quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back, he went on to play defense at the University of Virginia, where he earned First Team All-ACC and First Team All-American honors in 2013.
4: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB, Cleveland Browns – Hampton, VA)
The rookie linebacker out of Notre Dame suffered an ankle injury in October that sidelined him for three games before returning against the Patriots in November. Despite the bum ankle, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has accumulated 56 tackles, one forced fumble, and a sack in the 10 games he has played.
The 6-foot-2, 221-pound Hampton, Virginia, native has started seven games in his rookie season after being named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous All-American for his performance at Notre Dame in 2020. Owusu-Koramoah is just getting his feet wet in the NFL, and he has enormous potential to make a splash.
3: Bobby Massie (OT, Denver Broncos – Lynchburg, VA)
The 32-year-old right tackle for the Denver Broncos is in his 10th year in the NFL, and he is still as effective as ever in protecting the quarterback, even after suffering a knee injury last season with the Bears. Bobby Massie became an unrestricted free agent last year, and Denver snatched him up to help boost their offensive line talent.
At 6-foot-6 and 316 pounds, the Lynchburg, Virginia, native excelled in college at Ole Miss where he became the starter at right tackle half way through his freshman season. Massie is an incredibly large human who has worked to keep himself healthy for a decade in a league that eats weaker players for breakfast.
2: Josh Allen (DE, Jacksonville Jaguars – Cumberland County, VA)
The Jaguars’ defensive end shares his name with the Bills’ quarterback phenom, and the two standouts share another thing in common: bright futures in the NFL.
Drafted No. 7 overall by Jacksonville in 2019, Josh Allen the defensive end earned NFL All-Rookie honors and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2019. So far in his young career, Allen has amassed 117 tackles, 18.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, five pass deflections, a fumble recovery, and an interception.
Allen absolutely dominated in his last year of college ball at Kentucky, and he was rewarded for his performance with numerous awards, including SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous All-American nod. Allen has a high ceiling, especially if the Jaguars can replace the disaster of a coach that was Urban Meyer this season.
1: Duane Brown (OT, Seattle Seahawks – Richmond, VA)
At 6-foot-4 and 320 pounds, Duane Brown has been one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL for the large majority of his 14-year career. Brown is a four-time Pro Bowl selection and was named to the NFL All-Pro First Team in 2012 and the All Pro Second Teams in 2011 and 2018.
Brown started his college career as a tight end under Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech, but the dominant left tackle developed into an incredible pass protector as he grew into his body when he was with the Hokies. Brown is approaching the end of his career, but he is still the best player from Virginia in the NFL.